Wood and Shop Traditional Woodworking School

Woodworking Class: Introduction to Historic Wood Finishing with Don Williams (3 Days)

Woodworking Class: Introduction to Historic Wood Finishing with Don Williams (3 Days)

Regular price $575.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $575.00 USD
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Former Smithsonian Furniture Conservator, Don Williams, will teach the fundamentals of historical wood finishing. Students will learn and practice surface preparation, finish material selection, how to use wood finishing tools, finish preparation, and wood finish application techniques. Please carefully read all details below before registering for this class. 

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If your desired class becomes sold out click here to get added to the wait list. People may cancel, we may add more slots, or we may decide to add another class date if enough students request it.

Other Payment Methods

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Full Description

Spend three days learning the fundamentals of woodfinishing from a historic mindset with Don Williams, using the tools, materials, and techniques of our predecessors. Students will practice a range of exercises to familiarize their minds, eyes, and hands to impart greater beauty to their work pieces using traditional approaches. The curriculum revolves around students making a series of sample boards they can take home after the class.

Topics discussed, demonstrated and practiced include surface preparation, finish material selection (given the abbreviated schedule we are limited to wax and spirit varnishes including brushing and pad polishing, a/k/a “French” polishing), finishing tools (What’s the big fuss about “good rags”? What’s a good brush? What’s a polissoir?) finish preparation and application techniques for the entire process.

We will begin with ordinary raw wood and end with a lustrous surface that is a treat for the senses. Even if finishing was a source of trepidation previously, the student will depart with confidence for their next project. All supplies will be provided. See materials fee below.

Class Syllabus

See the Full Description section

Meet your Instructor

Read about this instructor on our page: "Meet the Instructors".

Materials Fee & Required Tools

The class material fee for Don’s class is $50. Sorry, the cost of everything is really high right now! It is payable to the instructor on the first day of the class.

Class Policies, Liability Waiver, & Cancellations

No students under 18 years of age are allowed. A PDF document with the full class policies and a liability waiver will be available after you register. All students are required to sign this document, and bring it on the first day of class.

Anyone can cancel a class up to 3 weeks prior to the class for a full refund (minus a $45 fee that covers credit card processing fees and administrative work). Cancellations under three weeks before a class begins will be given a refund (less $45) if we can find someone else to fill the slot. If we have to cancel a class for an unforeseen emergency, inclement weather, instructor illness/injury, or low number of registrations, a full refund will be given to students. We encourage students to not book non-refundable flights, car rentals, or lodging in case of these cancelations.

Student Tool Discounts

After you’ve registered for a class, you are eligible for a discount from Lee Valley (Veritas) and Taylor Toolworks. Lee Valley offers a 15% discount, and a discount form PDF will be available for download in your Wood and Shop dashboard after your purchase. For a 10% discount from Taylor Toolworks fill out this form and upload a photo or screenshot of your class order email (under the “Student ID” section). The discounts may not be available after the end of the class, so try to place your orders before then.

How to Get Here & Where to Stay

Please read our page: "Getting Here and Where to Stay".

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